I see a lot of new patients. I am frequently asked the same question by perplexed souls who have heard contradictory information from disparate sources. "Can Lyme be cured?"
Just not the question I want to hear at our first meeting. I sigh - then frequently launch into a long winded diatribe. When I stop, hoarse and breathless, the would-be patient is frequently none-the-wiser.
Lyme bacteria-parasites are uninvited quests who take up residence in our bodies/hosts. Having limited metabolic capabilities they live off the land. From an evolutionary point of view they certainly don't want the host/new home to perish. But they don't care if they make us sick. In fact, sick is better. A crippled immune system helps them flourish.
These long, thin, undulating bacteria slither through our skin and quickly disseminate throughout our bodies thwarting the best efforts of our elegant immune system. It seems no matter what our immune system throws at them they are always in the ready with ingenious counter-measures, seemingly always one step ahead.
The details of all this are elaborated elsewhere. Briefly: Lyme bacteria make the most of the tick environment, alter host immunological mediators (cytokines) to their advantage, camouflage themselves, continually manipulate developed targets of the host immune system, sequester themselves in protected niches such as "immuno-prievledged areas like the brain, hide in deep tissues poorly supplied by blood as they do not require oxygen, survive in biofilm communities, or simply role themselves up into a ball.
Studies in both animals and humans have proved the stubbornness of these micro-organisms repeatedly.
If cure means the eradication of all the Lyme bacteria the answer is no.
If cure means feeling normal again the answer is yes.
Getting there is the trick and usually not so easy.
Does that help?